Monday, November 16, 2009

Board 44

Board 44 (Click to download pbn file)
Our side vulnerable

♠ A K Q J 10 7 4 9 6 5 3 ♣ K 9

LHO opens two diamonds, weak, which is passed around to me. I bid two spades, and partner raises to three. I have six losers. To make a game, partner needs to cover three of them. It generally takes a limit raise to cover three losers, and partner doesn't have one, since he didn't bid three diamonds. Still, this looks like a pretty good hand for a balancing two-spade bid, so let me think about this some more. Let's give partner two aces, a pretty optimistic construction for a raise to three spades. To make game even opposite that ideal hand, I would need to ruff two diamonds in dummy without getting overruffed. I guess it's right to pass. West passes also and leads the seven of clubs.


NORTH
♠ 7 5 3
J 9 8 2
K 10 4
♣ A J 6






SOUTH
♠ A K Q J 10
7 4
9 6 5 3
♣ K 9


West
North
East
South
2
Pass
Pass
2 ♠
Pass
3 ♠
(All pass)

I play low from dummy, East plays the ten, and I win with the king. I have eight tricks, counting the diamond king, but I can't afford to work on a ninth until I get the trumps out of the way. I draw trumps in three rounds. Both opponents play up the line; East discards the deuce of clubs on the third round.

West would probably have led a singleton heart, so he is either 3-2-6-2 or 3-3-6-1. The king of diamonds will be my eight trick.  I will need to develop either a second diamond trick or a heart for my ninth.  Since I know how the diamonds lie, let's consider going after a second diamond trick first.  If that doesn't work, I'll think about playing hearts. Say I lead a diamond to the jack and king. I now play a heart. If the defense continues hearts, I ruff the third round and play a diamond toward the ten. West hops. Since he has no more hearts, he can't tap me. I can establish my diamond nine, and I still have a trump to get to my hand to cash it. Suppose when I play a heart from dummy, West wins and plays another club. That means he was 3-2-6-2, so if I rise with the ace and play another heart, he's down to all diamonds. I can ruff whatever they return and play a diamond, eventually scoring my nine. It doesn't help for West to hop with the diamond ace on the first diamond. In fact, that makes my job easier.

So diamonds it is. I play the three of diamonds--jack--king--club three. Now the deuce of hearts--six--seven--queen. The defense plays two more hearts, tapping me, and I play another diamond. Making three:


NORTH
♠ 7 5 3
J 9 8 2
K 10 4
♣ A J 6


WEST
♠ 8 6 4
Q 5 3
A Q J 8 7 2
♣ 7


EAST
♠ 9 2
A K 10 6
--
♣ Q 10 8 5 4 3 2


SOUTH
♠ A K Q J 10
7 4
9 6 5 3
♣ K 9



At the other table, the auction begins the same way, but South continues on to four spades after the raise and goes down one. I was a little surprised by this, so I checked to see what three diamonds by North would have meant. Jack calls this an "unassuming cue-bid." Apparently it denies spade support. I suppose if you have a good hand with no support, no stopper, and no suit of your own, it might be useful for three diamonds to mean that. But that seems like a rare hand. I would rather just do the best I can with that hand and give myself two ways to raise spades below game. If I had known three spades showed any hand with support that was unwilling to raise to game, I'm not sure what I would have done. The diamond length is a big liability, so I suspect I still would have passed, but I would have been a lot more nervous about it.

Me: +140
Jack: -100

Score on Board 44: +6 IMPs

Total: +105 IMPs

7 comments:

  1. easier to just win the ace of clubs at trick one

    ReplyDelete
  2. Phillip,
    Thanks a lot for this blog. It has become new daily reading for me!

    I have a comment I'd like to make on your writeup of the Monte Hall Problem (from your website). Is there a place I can do that? I suppose I could put it here, but it doesn't relate to the hand in question.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog.

    Apparently on the website I have to enable comments on a page-by-page basis. I've now enabled it on the Monty Hall page. At some point, I'll enable it on the others as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Phillip,
    Thanks, but I have still be unable to make comments. I cannot find such a link. ???

    Owen

    ReplyDelete
  5. On the bottom of the Monty Hall page, it should say '+Comments(0)'. If you click on the plus sign, it should expand to show a box and an 'Add comment' button. If you don't see that, perhaps you need to sign in with your Google account first.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I still cannot find the link. No such '+Comments(0)' button appears on my screen, even if I am signed in. Strange ...

    ReplyDelete